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Dingell Announces Over $490,000 in Grant Money to Better Serve Ypsilanti Libraries and Communities

Washington, July 27, 2020

YPSILANTI, MI — Today, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) announced the Ypsilanti District Library and the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development received grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The money comes from IMLS programs that enhance the quality of libraries, connects communities with librarians, and helps develop a diverse workforce of librarians. The total money awarded in grants is over $492,000.

The Ypsilanti District Library received a total of $249,788. The money awarded to the Ypsilanti District Library will be used to scale up the library’s early literacy text messaging service, TALK: Text and Learn for Kindergarten. TALK is designed to empower parents to improve their child's school readiness by sending texts with activity suggestions that parents can do with their children. Public librarians who opt in to the service will receive training and resources to both use and promote the service. This project will develop a new, more scalable platform for the already vetted texts and service model, as well as develop a promotional toolkit, partnerships toolkit, best practices, and professional development around implementation.

The University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development received a total of $242,640. The money awarded to the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development will be used to help enhance the Broadband Toolkit and customized Broadband Improvement Plan designed to help public and tribal librarians learn about their current broadband infrastructure and internal information technology (IT) environment. Using these two resources, librarians are better equipped to improve their broadband services and become stronger advocates for their libraries' broadband infrastructure needs.

“In the middle of this global pandemic, libraries and librarians still have a very important role to play,” said Dingell. “With this critical support, librarians will now be better suited to connect virtually with their communities and share activity and learning opportunities for children and their parents.”

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